Sunday, July 15, 2012
It's All About Worldview
For several years now I have been serving the Church in its response to America’s abortion crisis. I have wrestled with the question, “Why does the Church seem unwilling to respond to the greatest threat to human life in world history - the killing of unborn children while still in the sanctuary of their mother’s womb?”
55 million unborn children have been killed in the United States since 1973, and an estimated 40 - 50 million unborn are killed annually worldwide. That’s one in five pregnancies.
The Church, however, with rare exception, has remained paralyzed, immobilized, by an apparent myriad of excuses, in its response to Satan’s growing attack upon human life. (John 8:44; 10:10)
As I have sought the Lord’s wisdom, one explanation has emerged. The lack of response by the evangelical Church, is largely the result of a less than robust Biblical worldview.
S. Michael Craven of the Center for Christ & Culture, in one of his weekly Commentaries, points out,
"In 2001, researcher George Barna warned, 'The Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy.'" Craven continues, "According to Barna’s research, the most widely known 'Bible verse' among adult and teen believers is ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ Seriously!" [BTW that is not even in the Bible.]
He continues, "Less than one out of every ten believers possess a biblical worldview, meaning practically that 90 percent of professing Christians neither comprehend or know how to apply the most basic Christian theological understanding to their lives. (Among young adults ages 18-23, it’s less than one percent.)”
Craven cites, church historian, Dr. David Wells (who taught me church history forty years ago), who writes,
"I have watched with growing disbelief as the evangelical church has cheerfully plunged into astounding theological illiteracy." (No Place For Truth)
Craven writes, "I would add, this theological illiteracy extends to our understanding of the gospel itself, which has adversely affected the Christian’s understanding of his very purpose and mission in life. This, as much as anything else, is likely responsible for the church’s continuing decline, both in numbers and affect."
If the Church fails to embrace a Biblical worldview, what chance does it have of
being “the salt of the earth” or “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13,14)?
Without a fully informed worldview, the Church will participate in, rather than expose, the deeds of darkness, failing in Paul’s exhortation to “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:12 NIV)
In a recent interview with WND, Pastor Carl Gallups pointed out that,
"About 60 years ago, our culture decided it didn't need God or the mention of His Word anymore. So, we have raised several generations of children to believe that they are the 'me' generation. They were taught that there is no God, there is no 'higher authority,' there are no moral absolutes, and that they are nothing more than a cosmic happenstance based upon sheer random luck. I have an entire chapter about this phenomenon in my new book." (The Magic Man In The Sky: Effectively Defending The Christian Faith)
Gallups then goes on to point out the relationship of that secular worldview to the moral decline of our culture,
"With such a worldview thoroughly ingrained within the institutions of our culture we now reap what we have sown. The abortion holocaust could not happen without first convincing the nation to believe that we are nothing more than a mere animal. The radical homosexual movement could have never risen to its current level without first persuading the nation that there is no standard of right and wrong concerning our sexuality. Homosexual marriage would have never been considered until first the nation became convinced that marriage is nothing special or divinely ordained, and that marriage can be defined anyway in which man finds pleasing to his flesh and lust."
Focus on the Family (www.heartlink.org) reports that one out of six women who have had an abortion are evangelical Christians; 5.6 million women in evangelical churches have aborted unwanted children; and 250,000 evangelical women choose abortion each year.
I believe both the Church’s complicity with abortion and its ambivalence to the abortion crisis parallels society’s moral free-fall and even more tragically, for the same reason - lack of a Biblically informed worldview.
The Apostle Paul outlined a powerful protocol for the Church in its apologetic dialogue with an unsympathetic audience.
“23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” (2 Timothy 2:23-26 NLT)
Don’t fight. Don’t quarrel (disagree angrily). Be kind and patient. Gently instruct, recognizing the need for God to change the heart - for it is a spiritual battle - Satan has literally, drugged those who oppose the truth.
There needs to be a revival of this process in the Church before the Church will be prepared to apply it to a society hostile to truth.
In his High Priestly prayer for the Church, Jesus identified the inevitable conflict of worldviews.
14 I have given them [the Church] your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. (John 17:14-19 NIV)
It’s all about worldview. Jesus gave us the truth - to make us holy in a world that hates Him. It is ours to embrace or to squander in the Church or in the world.